Original article from Kent Live
Littlestone is best known for its two golf courses.
But anyone who's been to the area probably wonders there was a needed for one, let alone two, given the village next to it has a population of just a few hundred people.
It turns out there is a very good reason.
The whole area was at one point supposed to become a massive seaside resort for the British gentry.
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But very few ever turned up.
Lying on the Romney Marsh coast between Greatstone and St Marys Bay, Littlestone's name is derived from the shingle swept up on the beach – smaller than that of Greatstone to the west.
A tiny coast village at the time, politician Sir Robert Perks and entrepreneur Henry Tubbs arrived and set out an ambition for it to become a massive new seaside resort.
The Grand Hotel and a terrace of houses marked the start of what was supposed to become something much bigger.
Tubbs first laid out the golf course, establishing Littlestone Golf Club in 1888.
Then came the Marine Parade and the Grand Hotel.
The latter was one of the largest in all of Kent, reopening as Pope’s Hotel after fire damage in the 1930s, then again as The Ferry Hotel in the 1950s.
In the 1960s it was finally closed, demolished around 1973 to make way for the block of flats silll there today called ‘Grand Court’.
Another sign of the scale of the ambition for Littlestone was the 120 foot high red brick water tower that was supposed to service the massive resort.
There days, it's main use is as a landmark to point out the village from far around.
Tubbs' next plans were to build a pier and promenade off of the Grand Parade, opposite Littlestone Road.
But while Littlestone continued to grow, it never quite matched his ambitions, much the same way as the development of its next door neighbour Greatstone.
These days it's a small residential area with a few shops and holiday properties.
However it is still home to the only hotel on the Romney Marsh, the Romney Bay House Hotel.
The beach is predominantly shingle, with wooden groynes and multi-coloured beach and fishermans' huts.
It is backed by a huge grassed area, Littlestone Greens, which includes a several play area making it a great spot for children and picnics.
Another family-friendly attraction is the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, which stops in Littlestone.
Known as “Kent’s Mainline in Miniature”, the "world famous" one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives power their way from Hythe to Dungeness, stopping at beaches, amusement parks and nature reserves along the way.
Another feature is a piece of history out at sea.
A section of the Concrete Mulberry Harbour built during 1944 for the Dunkirk landings became detached from its tug and drifted back to Littlestone where it got stuck.
It remains visible from the beach at Littlestone at low tide.
But the main feature of this Romney Marsh village is of course the golf courses, a legacy of those former resort ambitions.
The main championship links course, lying in natural undulating dunes, was named one of the best 100 in the country.
The relatively sparse population locally means they are also very welcoming to visitors.
Add to the golf the beach, the atmospheric Marsh landscape and the child-friendly activities, Littlestone-on-Sea is a lovely coastal village that is well worth a visit.
Even if the British gentry didn't necessarily think so.